Film Set Outside

The importance of great sound effects in your film

Are you an indie filmmaker? Have you been neglecting the sound effects in your project, giving more of your time to the visuals? Sound plays an equally important role within movies and television programs and it is often overlooked by those just getting into film production. Just as music dramatically helps convey emotion in a love, death, horror or suspense scene, well placed sound adds depth and realism to a film and can act as the bridge between what a viewer sees and feels. Create the right ambience A common problem I have been asked to help with from newbie filmmakers is creating the right tone for a scene and often it’s the elements you don’t see, the off camera (or even no... »

Ocean Waves

Recording ocean sound effects

Water is one of my favourite sounds to record. Our free water sound effects also are some of the most downloaded here at zapsplat.com. It may come as no surprise then that ocean wave sounds are up there with not only as our most popular, but also my personal favourites. I am lucky that I live by the sea and always have. My local beach is made up from mainly shingle and stones which provide a unique sound when waves wash up on them. But on my travels I have also made sure to record wave sound effects on sandy beaches, within rock pools, on rocks, against harbor walls slipways and steps. So if you are going out to record the sounds of the ocean, here are a few simple tips: Take a good quality ... »

Indiana Jones

Heard that sound before? Ten films that stole sound effects from others

Do you ever watch a movie and think you’ve heard that sound before? Many movies borrow or mix sound effects from other sources maybe just because it’s the right sound, to pay homage to another film or director, or just for fun, such as the Wilhelm scream, a stock sound effect first used in the 1951 movie Distant Drums and subsequently used in Star Wars, Indiana Jones and over 225 others. This great video gives more examples… »

Sound wave illustration

Can you earn a living from stock sound effect libraries?

12 years ago I left university after studying music production for five years slightly disheartened. I’d always dreamed of working in a studio and, for five years had on and off. But the reality for me was I didn’t like to be confined to a place of work. I wanted to be mobile and I wanted diversity in my life. It was then that an idea hit me smack in the face and one that would change the course of my life. I’d used several stock audio libraries whilst working in a voice-over studio, both on CD and online. Back then there was only a handful of libraries online that offered sound effects to download and I realised I could possibly earn a living from recording my own sound ef... »

Recorder in jacket

Recording sound effects, incognito

Sometimes the phrase, if you don’t ask, you don’t get doesn’t apply. Some locations for recording sound effects are prohibited, for security, safety or other reasons. I recently asked permission from a zoo to record some of the animals, to which I was told no. I have also been asked to leave some private locations for recording without permission, permission I doubt I would have got in the first place. Most of the time, by being at a specific location to record I would not be in anyone’s way or be doing anything detrimental to the people or situations occurring. Often it is easier to say no to someone asking an out of the ordinary request than it is to say yes. Also, ... »

Recording pig and cow sound effects on a farm in Hampshire, UK

Recording pig and cow sound effects on a farm in Hampshire, UK

Here at zapsplat.com some of our most popular free sound effects are animal sounds. From lions and exotic birds to pigs, cows and sheep. It seems our members just can’t get enough. So we recently took a trip down to a farm in Hampshire, UK, to record pigs and cattle. Firstly, if you are going to record on a farm there are a few things to remember to take… Firstly and most obviously your recording equipment. We packed up our trusty Zoom H5 and AT825 plus internal mics, Fostex FR2LE and an AT815ST. But secondly, and of at least equal importance is a pair of Wellington boots. It hadn’t rained for a few days leading up to the day of our recording but the amount of mud… well, the pict... »

Comedy Audience

Recording audience laughter at Komedia comedy club, Brighton, UK

As a provider of free sound effects, it’s lovely to be allowed into locations to record that otherwise we might find a struggle. For many years, having lived in Brighton, UK, I attended comedy events at the Komedia, a buzzing comedy club that features some of the best comedians from around the world and a fantastic audience to boot. Our recording session was planned for the mid-week, monthly Comic Boom event that showcases many up-and-coming comedians as well as established headline acts. Arriving and setting up On arriving early, before the audience, we set about setting up microphones and working out the best positions. Luckily, one of the comedians had asked for a soundcheck which a... »

Star Wars Poster

The top ten best sound effects from Star Wars?

The editorial staff at starwars.com got together recently to discuss what they felt were the ten best sound effects from the star wars films. Slightly predictable as to what got the number 1 spot, the video below counts down the list with excerpts from the films for each sound effect. It’s an interesting watch with explanations as to how each sound effect was created.     The Star Wars imagery is Copyright 20th Century Fox   »

Recording Equipment

A very basic guide to starting out as a sound designer, on a budget

Recording and editing beautiful sound effects doesn’t have to set you back thousands of dollars in equipment. If you are interested in starting out recording sound effects either for personal use or commercial purposes, then this quick guide will show you how, and it won’t cost you a fortune either… I’m often asked how I got started as a sound designer. I’m also often asked how easy is it to do so and what equipment someone needs. Professional sound designers often have multiple microphones, several recorders, high-end computers with a wide array of expensive plugins for audio processing and more. But you don’t need these if you’re simply wanting to ... »

Gun

Recording a Tikka T3 Battue .308 Hunting Rifle

One of our fantastic contributors, John Ruok recently embarked on a recording trip recording the sound of a Tikka T3 Battue .308 hunting rifle. He has kindly shared his experience here: Recording gun sound effects at a firing range. A friend of mine bought a new scope for his hunting rifle (Tikka T3 Battue .308) and needed to zero in the sights. I thought I’d tag along with some minimal recording gear and set my first steps towards recording gun sounds. My intention was not to carry a car full of equipment and produce the best stuff out there, but rather just capture something that could be useful later on. I picked up a small bag, packed my Tascam DR-60MK2, and AKG C1000s and off I we... »